1. Ajay Devgn’s ‘Action Jackson’: Short movie review

Ajay Devgn’s ‘Action Jackson’: Short movie review

The last Prabhu Dheva outing, R Rajkumar, was so unbearable that I thought I would be scarred for life. Action Jackson is almost as vile...

By: | New Delhi | Published: December 12, 2014 12:04 PM
Ajay Devgn and Sonakshi Sinha in the song 'Keeda' from 'Action Jackson'.

Ajay Devgn and Sonakshi Sinha in the song ‘Keeda’ from ‘Action Jackson’.

MOVIE: Action Jackson
DIRECTOR: Prabhu Dheva
CAST: Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Manasvi Mamgai, Yami Gautam
RATING: 1/2

The last Prabhu Dheva outing, R Rajkumar, was so unbearable that I thought I would be scarred for life. Action Jackson is almost as vile: the only reason I stuck around was to see if Ajay Devgn would start acting like Prabhu Dheva by the end. No, he doesn’t.

That’s not the deal-breaker, though, because Devgn’s never been one to shake a leg, and that’s perfectly okay because not all men have to be able to dance to prove their machoness. It’s that he has agreed to star in a film that is so gratingly awful, whose women are either dumb dodos, or doped-out vixens, and who submit to being dumped on all the time; and whose comedy track consists of a guy (Kapur) getting slapped, one, two.

I can’t tell you more because there is nothing more. Devgn appears in a double role as the good-hearted gali ka goonda Vishy, and his look-alike, the sword-wielder AJ, whose chief ability is to slice and dice humans. Vishy’s girl is the wide-eyed Khushi (Sinha); AJ is made to swing between two women—the goodytwo – shoes Gautam, and the wild-eyed, coke-snorting Mamgai, and face off with a villain who has, get this, a glass eye!

This could have been an entertaining retro comic-book revenge saga, especially because it has a dashing, bad girl who has more screen time, and much more neon-lit presence than everyone else in the flick.

But Prabhu Dheva doesn’t have the skill set to instill that knowing edge into his material; he shows no awareness, which is in fact risible. He wants to do Kill Bill part 4, but he is at heart, a contortionist-cum-choreographer with a tiresome, jaded appetite for blood. This is PB trying for QT and falling flat on his nimble toes.

I’m seriously tired of watching Sinha making faces which her directors are content, passing it off as acting. Devgn doesn’t need to stoop this low: so what if he can’t dance, he can keep a straight face while delivering a joke. And he can waggle a sword. Even Rohit Shetty’s brand of brainlessness is better than this straight-up disgusting fare.

If Prabhu Dheva had the smarts, he would have given Mamgai a more filled-out part, and gone full leather-and-kink. But clearly that is not what the director is after: his idea of entertainment is to have his leading lady gaze at the leading man’s nether equipment and pass out.

I wish I had, while watching.

(shubhra.gupta@expressindia.com)

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